Tuesday, August 5, 2008


"The line-drawing comes as Congress, the Bush administration and regulators as looking to fill gaps in oversight exposed during the credit crisis. ... The Fed has emphasized that its lending to investment banks is temporary. Thursday, Mr. [Timothy] Geitner noted the lending's importance in providing confidence to the market. ... [Chris] Cox ... said the SEC's role should be expanded to include the setting of risk-management systems and applying 'progressively more significant restrictions on operations if capital or liquidity adequacy falls, including requiring divestiture of lines of business.' ... Separately, Mr. Cox said the SEC could propose as soon as next week extending its emergency order aimed at limiting certain kinds of short sales, or negative bets on a company's stock, from 19 financial institutions to the rest of the market", my emphasis, Kara Scannell at the WSJ, 25 July 2008.

I've noted before New York City's "temporary" rent controls began in 1943. Geithner, NY Fed Head admits he is playing a "confidence" game. Apparently Chris Cox (CC) concluded short selling restrictions on his "favored 19" were too obvious, so he may now extend them to the whole market. Wonderful. I expect this SEC, Fed and Treasury "shuffling" to enhance investors' returns as much as SARBOX did. Not at all. CC favors "setting of risk-management systems" for investment banks (IB). CC sounds like a Big 87654 CPA firm partner looking to sell some consulting projects. Is CC serious? The IBs don't need "risk-management systems". They need to be denied federal bailouts and to go bankrupt if need be. Why should a firm like say, Lehman, run by a genius who got $489 million from stock option exercises need be told how to run its business? What was Richard Fuld paid to do anyway?

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